The city of Dunwoody has committed to support the Dunwoody Nature Center’s Milkweed Project, which seeks to help protect the Monarch butterfly species by planting milkweed throughout the community.
Alan Mothner, the executive director for the Nature Center, said the solution is simple.
“Monarch butterflies only eat milkweed plants,” Mothner said. “They exclusively eat milkweed, so no milkweed means no Monarchs. It’s that simple.”
Mothner said at the April 13 council meeting that this project is more of an “awareness campaign” and that he wanted the city’s support, not its money. The city resolved to provide space in each of the parks for milkweed, which is being grown at the Nature Center.
“Monarch butterflies are one of the major pollinators in American gardens, fields and farms,” Mothner said, and he added that the species has lost 96 percent of its population since 1992.
The butterflies represent a critical element in our food supply, he said, and they have been disappearing by the millions over the last 20 years.
The Xerces Society, a major butterfly research organization, estimates that the population of Monarch butterflies was more than 1 billion in 1992. In the winter of 2013-14, the population was estimated to be only 35 million.
The rollout of the Milkweed Project puts into practice a local solution that with proper funding and support could be a regional solution, Mothner said.

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